Posted by: Ken Brown | September 11, 2008

Something I Need to Remember

The late Henri Nouwen was a Catholic who left his teaching position at Harvard to work with the developmentally disabled at L’Arche. He had this to say in his book In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership:

I have the impression that many of the debates within the church around issues such as the papacy, the ordination of women, the marriage of priests, homosexuality, birth control, abortion, and euthanasia take place on a primarily moral level. On that level different parties battle about right and wrong. But that battle is often removed from the experience of God’s first love, which lies at the base of all human relationships.

Words like “right-wing,” “reactionary,” “conservative,” “liberal,” and “left-wing” are used to describe people’s opinions, and many discussions then seem more like political battles for power than spiritual searches for the truth.

Christian leaders cannot simply be persons who have well-informed opinions about the burning issues of our time. Their leadership must be rooted in the permanent, intimate relationship with the incarnate Word, Jesus, and they need to find there the source for their words, advice, and guidance. (pgs. 44-45)

Far too often, I am more concerned with establishing moral principles or trying to defend truths about God than I am with loving people or seeking God himself.



  1. What! No comments

    This is a most important insight. Directly related to the injunction in Paul’s writing, in James, and the words of Jesus – Do not judge. Such is the aspect of the time we are in.

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